AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Fare thee well, old friend. May the wind always be at your back, and the bases always be lightweight and aerodynamic.
It was a big weekend in sports with departures, arrivals, and some things we've never seen before. Leading things off, Chicago's favorite bag-thrower and manager extraordinaire, Lou Piniella, retired after 48 years in baseball following Sunday's game to spend more time with his ailing mother. All jokes aside, Sweet Lou will certainly be missed by baseball fans everywhere, including us. We only wish that his departure could have been on a more positive note - the Cubs got steamrolled by the Braves 16-5 at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon in his final game as manager.
In more upbeat news, Alabama will start this college football season where it ended it last year - on top. The Crimson Tide received 54 of 60 first-place votes on its way to earning the No. 1 spot in the AP preseason Top 25 poll. Ohio State, Boise State, Florida, and Texas rounded out the top five. As for Alabama, this is the first time that they've sat atop the AP preseason poll since the days of Bear Bryant - who we learned this weekend was once tracked by the FBI. No doubt, head coach Nick Saban and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram will look to keep the focus on the field this season while trying to become the first program to win back-to-back AP titles three times (Oklahoma and Nebraska also have done it twice).
Off the gridiron and onto the pavement, we were treated to a first-of-its-kind racing sweep this weekend that we'll call the Busch Slam. Kyle Busch was all over the place in Bristol, Tennessee, sweeping three races to become the first driver to complete the sweep since NASCAR expanded to three national series in 1995. Busch explained. "I love Bristol and I love winning. And to do it for the first time ever in NASCAR, to sweep the weekend, man, that's pretty awesome." That is pretty awesome, but you want to know what's even awesome-er? A broom sponsored by M&Ms - perfect for a Busch Slam or for when you spill M&Ms all over the floor of your garage.
In other news from the weekend that was, Kevin Durant threw a block party in Madrid (como se dice "Durantula?"), Vin Scully announced he'll be back in the Dodgers' broadcast booth for 2011, Ryan Howard returned to the Phils, A-Rod kept it on the (15-day) DL, Stephen Strasburg got an MRI, and Favre took four snaps. And, in case you missed it, Jameer Nelson made himself some ox tails, Josh Cribbs bonded with his teammates, and Sean May could use a visit from the international geek squad. Hang in there big guy, hopefully some nerds are on the way.